Monday, November 12, 2012

The Mystery of Oscar Langford

As an amateur genealogist, I have done work on my family lines through both my mother and my father. My lovely spouse, Nancy, has waited patiently for me to finish these projects and supported the time, travels and expenses of my hobby. Of course, completing work on her family lines was also something I had been promising. And this blog will, finally, document this work on Oscar Langford, Nancy's great grandfather.

We have known very little about Oscar before a year or two ago. My membership in yielded a few clues. We knew about his adult life and children but little about his childhood or parents. I was able to find a picture of Oscar with his daughter, Jeanette, her daughter and grand daughter. I was able to locate him in the census records for 1910 and 1920 living in the Union Printers' Home in Colorado Springs. Nancy and I spent one evening going over city directories to find him year by year. What we found just made us more curious about him.

He moved his family to Saint Louis after the Civil War and worked there as a printer. His son William worked with him. Unfortunately William died very young. Shortly after that Oscar left his family and returned to Dayton alone. He worked at a variety of print shops in Dayton until about 1900 when he entered the Union Printers' Home.

In the summer of 2011, Nancy and I visited the Printers' Home but were unable to learn anything specific about Oscar. I had found his Civil War records and knew that he enlisted for a period of about three months in 1861. He is listed as a deserter on one record and as a discharge on another. The unit that he joined was appointed for a period of three months, in error. After the three months the men were given the option of staying for the correct deployment of one year or going. It appears this confusion is what Oscar was caught up in.

So this is post number one. Just this week we have made some significant discoveries about which I will blog here.

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